A NEW initiative could see CCTV cameras provided in each of Ryedale’s five main towns.

Representatives of Malton and Norton town councils were told by Inspector Andy Everitt that the plan was initially for CCTV coverage round the clock in the two towns through a system operated at Scarborough Town Hall.

There would be a single payment of £39,000 to get the system operating and the aim is to extend it to Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering.

Last year, the cameras in Pickering were switched off after the town council voted against making an annual contribution of £1,800 to the cameras, which are managed by Ryedale Cameras in Action (RCIA).

Talks have already been held with the leader of Ryedale District Council, Councillor Linda Cowling, and chief executive Janet Waggott about the possibility of a significant amount of the funding coming from its New Homes Bonus, the money allocated by the Government based on the number of new houses being built in Ryedale.

Inspector Everitt told RCIA’s annual meeting that cameras had proved a great asset to policing in Malton and Norton.

“Having cameras in Ryedale’s other market towns would have a huge impact,” he said.

Pickering’s cameras were switched off last year after the town council twice rejected a request for funding, but now the new Scarborough link will go through to the town.

In the long-term it is hoped to extend the project to Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley, which would increase the £39,000 cost to about £90,000.

Coun Cowling said ideally a champion for raising money in each of the towns should be appointed. She said the cameras not only provided security, but also helped to track down criminals.

Members of Norton Town Council voiced their support for the CCTV system at their last monthly meeting.

Councillor David Lloyd-Williams said: “The cameras have proved their value time and time again, especially in Norton. They are invaluable to the police and we have to ensure they carry on and, hopefully, enhance the system.”

Councillor Kevin Anderson said: “People only have to think of the fatal fire in Norton – without CCTV the police would not have got the information they needed.”

Martin Dales, chairman of RCIA, said: “Our aim is to provide 24/7 monitoring in conjunction with Scarborough Borough Council which has an excellent CCTV system. For modest shared costs, we can provide a first-class system for the safety and wellbeing of people of Ryedale.”